Politics: where absolutely anything is OK as long as the right team does it.

War On Drugs

America get over yourself.

"Murderers, directly or indirectly, and generally unsavory characters."

If you sell someone drugs and they DON'T die, are you a murderer?
January 4th, 2006
I did a search, and MarkTAW's complete paragraph is:

"As for the drug dealers, I've known a few and they're not people you want hanging around your house. Murderers, directly or indirectly, and generally unsavory characters. Fun at parties, but completely amoral."

Dunno what to say. The end result of competition is generally murder (and beyond). If laws prohibiting murder weren't enforced, wouldn't you think there would've been assassinations between Microsoft and Google/Sun/Apple? These are industrial powers under intense competition; and if there are arenas in which some won't compete, someone harder eventually will. And gain from it.

But currently within the US, such blatant killings would simply destroy the company which carried it out. Just like in a competitive sport like basketball, you can maybe get away with steroids or blatant fouls, but murder? No way. Even skaters don't really get away with bashing each others' knees.

The problem with drugs is it's a lucrative market. Which already operates outside the law. Nice guys finish last; garbage floats. In that situation, certain kinds of violence will eventually occur.

Now, I haven't described any "solutions" to the "war on drugs." That's a different subject, which requires knowledge of what the REAL health and psychological effects of the particular drugs are.
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
January 4th, 2006
Just like to say Americans are stupid.

They should learn from the British. Sell Opium to China and win Hong Kong!
Permalink Rick Tang 
January 4th, 2006
Rick, you might be interested in a US Army War College study on China's strategic thinking. I believe this was it:

I don't know how glib it is; perhaps knowledgeable people might like to chime in.
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
January 4th, 2006
"If you sell someone drugs and they DON'T die, are you a murderer?"

No, but if you sell someone enough drugs to kill themselves, when they're obviously distraught and alone, then what are you?

And if you *actually* kill someone (with a gun) then what are you?
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 4th, 2006
If you're a barman and you sell a drunk a drink and they die are you also culpable?
Permalink Simon Lucy 
January 4th, 2006
Even better Rick - then send someone to China to negotiate the return of Hong Kong and then work out whether to court martial him for leasing the New Territories instead...
Permalink a cynic writes... 
January 4th, 2006
Are you attempting to offer a socially acceptable reductio ad absurdum? "If you sell someone asprin and they OD on it are you culpable?" "Are we responsible XYZ economic situation/war/whatever because we buy gas/foreign products/etc.?"

There is definitely some sort of pressure to do the socially acceptable thing, and some justification "well, they'll just get it from someone else" in all of these situations. There is a point where the action becomes so mundane, and the consequence so far removed or so "out of your hands" that it's really difficult to argue culpability.

Did the bartender know that this drink would kill the alcoholic? I don't think the law would punish him (assuming this is what you meant by culpability), but if it happened once, I'd hope he'd adjust his behaviour to prevent it in the future. If the bartender had a history of getting people so drunk that they died, I'd say there was something wrong.

<Godwin's law>
The inevitible consequence of all these discussions is "Were the NAZI's culpable because they were 'just following orders?'"
</Godwin's law>

or "Are the poor responsible for their situation, or should we expect them to bootstrap themselves and go through the grueling work to bring themselves out of poverty?"

Isn't the answer to all these questions always "both/neither." These are ambiguities, and you're free to draw the line wherever you wish.
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 4th, 2006
Oops, you found an error!